5 Stars / Contemporary / Review

Review: The Wish List by Melanie Moreland

Asher Hart
Rosie Duncan

Two people, both alone, needing a miracle. It comes in the form of a chance meeting—brought together in a busy store by a mischievous little boy.
With the single mother and her son, Asher discovers something he thought he’d lost years ago. The ability to feel joy. Rosie and AJ fill his heart, healing the pain of the past with every smile, laugh, and touch.
They share a magical Christmas. But when it’s over, Asher wants more.
Will Rosie let him be the secret wish she’s been longing for?
He’s determined to convince her.
Determined to be the miracle she’s become for him.
Her forever.

Title:The Wish List
Author:Melanie Moreland
Series:Insta-Spark (Book 8)
Single Parent Romance
Point of View:First Person, Past Tense, Dual Viewpoint (H & h)
Location:Nova Scotia, Canada
Release Date:1st December, 2023
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Delightful and warm, low-angst story

I’m so giddy for another Melanie Moreland story – or in this case M Moreland – and another addition to the Insta Spark series. For those unfamiliar, the Insta Spark stories are unrelated, standalone stories that are sweet (but still sexy) and happy with minimal angst and an initial spark of connection that quickly grows into something more. They are the romance equivalent of a delicious cup of hot chocolate or a big, smooshy hug.

Our couple, Asher and Rosie, have a chance meeting in a store before Christmas and the spark of attraction is immediate. Rosie is a struggling single mum and Asher is a rich CEO – and luckily Rosie’s natural reticence is countered by Asher’s persuasive, take-charge attitude. Meeting Rosie has shocked something loose in Asher and he’s not planning to let her or her son, AJ, out of his life.

Rosie and her 5 year old son only have each other in the world. While she’s definitely hard-working and having a difficult time making ends meet, she’s never portrayed as a poor-me, sad type. I found her likeable, fierce and I totally understood her wariness when it came to a relationship with Asher. I’m not sure I would trust someone to be there for me after doing it all myself for so long.

“…the romance equivalent of a delicious cup of hot chocolate or a big, smooshy hug.”

It’s hard not to like Asher – although why you wouldn’t want to is beyond me. He’s always been a bit of a loner – just getting on with life and happy enough with it. But once he meets Rosie, all bets are off. He’s definitely got a bit of alpha about him and while he’s taken aback by his reaction to Rosie, he’s not planning to question it. Despite how much it annoyed Rosie, I liked it when Asher crossed the line and took decisions based on his heart. It was sweet for such a man to be so totally floored by love with someone so unexpected.

This story is – like others in the series – easy to describe as sweet. But I mean that more because of the lack of drama in the story than because of the heat level. They’re perhaps less explicit than many other books but there is still a lot of sex and it’s still hot and heavy. But it’s also sweet in that our two main characters have such a depth of feeling for each other that it’s more than just sex.

These stories are low angst so there’s not a whole lot of obstacles on Asher and Rosie (and AJ’s) road to their happily ever after. But that doesn’t mean that the story is simple. I found it very engaging and raced through it, picking it up whenever I got the slightest chance. But what I find best about this story, and others in this series, is that you can very easily imagine it happening to you. It’s a meet cute, immediate attraction that turns to a healthy, loving relationship. With the feel-good emotions that come alongside it, you can’t help but feel a positivity throughout and after reading this tale. In fact, this was one of those books that after you finish, you forget that you have and want to keep picking it up and finding out more about the lives of Rosie, Asher and their family.

This is a really fun and sweet story that definitely gave me warm, snuggly feelings. It’s not technically a Christmas story but it starts and ends during the festive period and it did give me the lovely vibes that only the best Christmas stories do. Whether you’re a Melanie Moreland fan or you’ve never read her before, I think you’ll like this deliciously warming tale. 5 stars.

* I received this book in exchange for my honest review *

New York Times/USA Today bestselling author Melanie Moreland, lives a happy and content life in a quiet area of Ontario with her beloved husband of twenty-seven-plus years and their rescue cat, Amber. Nothing means more to her than her friends and family, and she cherishes every moment spent with them.

While seriously addicted to coffee, and highly challenged with all things computer-related and technical, she relishes baking, cooking, and trying new recipes for people to sample. She loves to throw dinner parties, and also enjoys traveling, here and abroad, but finds coming home is always the best part of any trip.

Melanie loves stories, especially paired with a good wine, and enjoys skydiving (free falling over a fleck of dust) extreme snowboarding (falling down stairs) and piloting her own helicopter (tripping over her own feet.) She’s learned happily ever afters, even bumpy ones, are all in how you tell the story.

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Insta-Spark Series

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